Money/ RTW costs 2.0​, a real cost breakdown

It’s time for that money talk again and all things RTW cost-related…and to help you guys that want to get out here the real cost of world travel

Let’s call this – Money/ RTW costs 2.0
We get asked a lot how we afford this lifestyle, so, due to that question for the last two years, I have tried to keep more detailed daily records. I know from all my travels as a solo rider worldwide that I spent, average per day –
2011 $55
2012 $65
2013 $44
2014 $46
2015 $42
…but that’s about all I can tell you, hence this!

If you go back to page 81 I did a detailed breakdown of costs
 and this is a follow-on to that to show you it wasn’t a fluke.

A month or so ago Egle wrote an article for advpulse ‘search finances’ if you want to go find it. To do research she asked in a few various groups what they were or had budgeted for their time on the road, the question was very simple – total cost divided by the number of days on the road, that is what YOUR budget was/ is regardless of where you ride.

It caused a basic shit storm as riders argued about it all depends on where you ride, what you ride, what you eat, how long you go…adnauseam. Well, that wasn’t her question, she’s the journalist and will do the deeper involved thinking and interviewing once she had a range of people to talk to, but it was hilarious to read as each successive person tried to be better than the last.

One couple stated they’d ridden RTW for around 3 years on two bikes and only spent about $50k, impressive!

Until directly asked for details when they came up with a second figure close to $120K! Why the big difference, they hadn’t included things like shipping, visas, unique visits to places, clothes and lots of other random things…they didn’t feel these were costs of the trip so weren’t included in the budget.

This is no help to anyone because if people tried to follow the tracks they would be done in 18 months. Basically, they tried to look good to the masses but when asked their $50 +/- a day was actually more like $115 +/-, not sure what their point was, why even bother or lie to yourself, they weren’t included in the article.

The reason I bring that up is to let you know this is real costs, everything is included, bar one item. That one thing is the new(ish) bikes we switched to. I could have sold my Super Tenere and bought and set up the DR’s but instead and not been out of pocket, but, I decided to help a friend who had lost a lot of possessions due to excessive medical bills, one of which was his motorcycle, I gave him my bike for the remaining duration of our trip and ‘found money’ for the DR’s – so in my mind the bike swap is a wash!

For the riding year 2016, I stated this –

GRAND TOTAL ONE YEAR ON THE ROAD = $24,034.74 or $65.85 per day avg. 

If you want to know where we rode in 2016 go back to page one, but it was 26 countries, mostly in Europe and some of them a couple of times

So what’s changed?

In 2017 we have ridden in the following countries –

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Andorra (for about 10 minutes)
  • France
  • England
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Mexico

We have also shipped (air freight) the S10 from England to Arizona

As in 2016, I keep a track of all expenses in four simple categories for 2017 – Fuel/ Food/ Accommodation/ Miscellaneous or everything else. I guesstimated the budget for Europe to be $82 per day and North America at $75, this is for two people

yes I could be more accurate and take note of how many liters of fuel or oil we used per bike, MPG, how much for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner, haircuts, new socks etc. but for me I don’t find that information necessary, I just want a solid yearly figure and a little detail. YMMV

1.Fuel – this is just fuel nothing else at all

Fuel Cost for the year was – $3596.30 or $9.85 a day

From April onwards we were on two bikes, ironically switching from one bike to two our fuel costs decreased by $33.62 year on year

2. Food – just food nothing else, from restaurants, bars, street food or supermarket food cooking for ourselves

Food costs for the year were – $8212.49 or $22.50 per day. Our year on year food costs increased by $750.91 year on year

3. Accommodation – this is hotels, hostels, Airbnb, camping in a campground or wild camping, staying with friends or other invites from riders worldwide. (huge thanks for that all of you that we met throughout the year)

Accommodation costs for the year were – $4732.86 or $12.97 a day. Our year on year accommodation costs decreased by $88.90

4. Miscellaneous – this is everything else, oil changes, tires, new boots, ferries, shipping, air freight, mail, visas, museums etc. I just make a note daily so I can see where the money went but don’t break the details down more than that

Misc. costs for the year were – $7279.23 or $19.94 a day. Our year on year misc. costs decreased by $450.35 year on year

Our biggest expense of 2017 not surprisingly was getting the S10 back from Europe, a one time hit of $1668.65, for the bike and us to be back in the US

Overall grand total costs for the 2017 year are – $23,820.88 or $65.26 per day for two people on two bikes for most of the year –

or $3290 under the budgeted amount for the year

As you can see RTW costs have changed very little it was 59¢ a day more expensive last year and we were on the most expensive continent, Europe. Hopefully by me being transparent and telling you all this information you have a better feeling of freedom (if so inclined and able) to get out into the world and see a little more than you thought your money would stretch to.

2018 onwards will be interesting for costs/ expenses as it is probably the most traveled route/ direction – North America to South America


As an afterthought, if we had switched from one motorcycle to a van/ truck/ mini RV our costs would most likely be less than riding two motorcycles!

Shipping would have most likely even out the costs!

There would have been more sleeping in our vehicle, fuel would be around the same as it is for two bikes IF we had a fuel-efficient vehicle…makes you think?

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